RUSH CEO Receives Honorary Citizen Award From Singapore

Dr. Ranga Krishnan chosen for Singapore’s most prestigious honor for foreign nationals
Dr. Ranga Krishnan wearing his Honorary Citizen Award medallion

Dr. Ranga Krishnan, CEO of Rush University System for Health (RUSH), received the Honorary Citizen Award from the president of Singapore, Halimah Yacob, in a ceremony today in the official presidential residence and office. The award is Singapore’s highest honor for foreign nationals and is given to individuals who have made an outstanding and lasting impact on the nation. Krishnan originally was to have received the award in March 2020, but the ceremony was postponed until now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Health of Singapore nominated Krishan for the award in recognition of his contributions to medical education, health and biomedical research and the health care system in Singapore. Krishnan is chairman of Singapore’s National Medical Research Council (NMRC), which is part of the country’s Ministry of Health. He served for eight years as dean of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, a joint venture between Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and the National University of Singapore. He also is a former board member of Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd.

The award citation declares that “as the longest-serving chairman of the NMRC Board, Professor Krishnan guided NMRC to formulate and implement strategies to promote excellence in health and biomedical sciences … In particular, he strengthened NMRC’s support of translational research in key areas such as aging and health services research, and also helped develop innovation and the commercialization of research. This included the setting up of the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore in 2014, of which he was the founding chairman.“

The citation also praises Krishnan’s work on the HSA’s board and as chairman of the Singapore Clinical Research Institute. “His influence also led to the establishment of the Centre of Regulatory Excellence at Duke-NUS, which is the first dedicated center in Asia targeted to the needs of national health regulators and other stakeholders.” 

In addition, Krishnan was cited for his work on several  national research oversight committees: “In these roles, he provided guidance and critical insights towards the formulation of national research and biomedical sciences strategies.”

Krishnan previously received the President's Science and Technology Award, Singapore’s highest honor for research scientists and engineers. Also presented by the president of Singapore, the award recognizes and celebrates outstanding contributions to research and development in Singapore.

“I am humbled and deeply grateful to receive the Honorary Citizen Award and to join a very respected group of recipients,” Krishnan said. “Singapore gave me a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of building a new medical school, and a truly outstanding academic health system.

"I am thankful for that opportunity and for the chance to participate in the transformation of Singapore’s health system and biotech sector to be a true global leader. I would like to express my gratitude to the many individuals through these many years, from A*STAR, Duke-NUS, MOH, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Trade and Industry, National Research Foundation, National University of Singapore and SingHealth, too many to enumerate, whose support and friendship made it all possible.”

Krishnan has been CEO of RUSH since May 2019 and previously had been dean of Rush Medical College since October 2015. On July 1, Krishnan will transition to a new role as senior advisor to the new RUSH CEO, Dr. Omar Lateef, CEO of Rush University Medical Center.

He played a pivotal role in the advancement of Rush University’s medical education curriculum and restructured RUSH’s innovation and technology strategy to forge partnerships that expand access to RUSH’s quality care. 
Among Dr. Krishnan’s successes is the reinvigoration of Rush Health, a clinically integrated network of physicians and hospitals working together to improve health through high-quality, efficient health services.

In addition, the following ventures to expand access were established during Krishnan’s leadership tenure:

  • An alliance with Select Medical to care for patients with longer-term critical illness and those who need inpatient rehabilitation and physical therapy.
  • An affiliation with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago that improves access to high-quality and complex pediatric care, including outpatient services on the West Side of Chicago.
  • Co-sourcing with R1 to improve revenue management. RUSH entered into a strategic partnership to achieve revenue cycle performance excellence and accelerate innovation in health care.
  • Labcorp entered into a comprehensive partnership with RUSH to serve as the primary lab for Chicago-based hospitals and physicians in the RUSH network.
  • An innovative collaboration with DispatchHealth to bring high-quality, in-home medical care to health care consumers across the Chicago area.

Krishnan has also been instrumental in expanding the use of innovative technologies to improve outcomes. A RUSH alliance with Tempus — a Chicago-based technology company with expertise in gene sequencing and analysis — is focused on identifying potentially relevant genetic patterns to advance the treatment therapies for cancer patients.

Duane J. Gubler, DSc, emeritus professor at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, also received the Honorary Citizen Award at the ceremony. You can read more about him and the award in a news release from the Singapore Ministry of Health.

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